WOODBURY - Nassau and Suffolk officials are preparing for Hurricane Joaquin in the event it tracks toward Long Island.
Nassau Executive Ed Mangano says the county is ramping up emergency services to prepare for the storm. He also says he is advising residents in low-lying areas to plan to stay with friends, family or shelters if an evacuation order is given.
Many Nassau residents say they're not taking any chances after Sandy. In Long Beach, crews were building sand dunes as a first line of defense against floodwaters. City officials also say a new retaining wall in front of the boardwalk provides greater protection than they had previously.
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone says he is going to pay special attention to the South Shore communities, including Fire Island. Bellone says he's had several meetings with Fire Island officials and other South Shore leaders about possible evacuations and flood damage. He says the lessons learned from Sandy are fresh in his mind, and that improved rescue equipment and communications will be key.
"Everyone is on the same page. If there's a questionable issue, it gets addressed quickly, and I think that is probably the most critical thing that has come out of Superstorm Sandy," says Bellone.